We’re happy to report that charges against Shanesha Taylor, the mother who left her children in the car during a job interview, have been dropped.
The gripping mugshot featuring Taylor and her tear-stained face spread quickly and garnered worldwide support for her case. According to the Maricopa County Attorney, a judge ruled that Taylor will have the charges dismissed if she completes a diversion program.
Taylor was arrested back in March after police say she left two children in her Dodge Durango for 45 minutes while she was in a Farmers Insurance office in Scottsdale. Taylor told authorities that she was unemployed, didn’t have child care and had been occasionally homeless.
This morning, after the deal was reached, Taylor attended a settlement conference this morning, where she told reporters:
“This is a beautiful resolution to a very long, very hard journey.”
The program will require Taylor to complete parenting and substance abuse classes and establish education and child care trusts for her three children. Each education trust must have $10,000 in it.
If you’re wondering where that money will come from, you may remember that fundraisers were set up on Taylor’s behalf to help with legal fees and other expenses. The effort raised $144,775 from over four thousand donors.
In reference to the resolution, Bill Montgomery, the county attorney, said: “Where we can focus on an opportunity for rehabilitation without having to use punitive consequences we’re always willing to take a look at that. And our resolution today shouldn’t be taken as a policy shift, this is just how we were able to resolve this one particular case.”
They also took into account the fact that Taylor was searching for employment and had no other criminal history.
As for Taylor, she believes her supporters were crucial in the outcome of her case and is very grateful for all the support and donations.
“This provides a future for my kids.” Taylor said during the press conference.
If Taylor fails to follow the conditions of the agreement, the criminal charges will be reinstated. Montgomery did not confirm or deny whether or not Taylor had a substance abuse problem but said that it is not uncommon for his office to require these types of classes in child abuse cases.
In a statement, Montgomery said:
“Based on all the facts and circumstances in this matter, we believe this agreement represents a just resolution that appropriately holds the defendant accountable for her actions while also recognizing the best interests of her family. The stipulations of this agreement also ensure that pledges of support from members of the public will have a meaningful and positive impact.”
Taylor was released from jail last March on a $9,000 bond and had been indicted on two felony counts. Her children were examined at a hospital the day she was arrested and released, uninjured. They are now with family members under supervision from the Division of Child and Family Services.
By entering into this agreement and program, Taylor avoided a potential two year probation or a possible eight year sentence.